This blog is a personal take on Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am writing for anyone anywhere with a Listowel connection but especially for sons and daughters of Listowel who find themselves far from home. Contact me at

Tag: Reggie

A Fashion Photoshoot

In Listowel Town Square in July 2024

My Summer Visitors

Early morning walk with Reggie

In Praise of a Modest Repast

The Tomato Sandwich

by Mick O’Callaghan

                                     This veggie discovered in the fifteen hundredths

Growing wild in the Andes Mountains

Brought to Mexico by the Spaniards

Then the early explorers brought seeds to Italy

And so, this ancient berry, fruit or vegetable

Has spread throughout the world

Today its 10000 plus varieties are globally grown

With varieties such as beef, cherry ,vine ,piccolo

As ornamental plants, for roasting and toasting

Widely used in salads or just plain slices on bread

For myself I just adore

lettuce, cheese, cucumber, scallion and tomato sandwiches

Made on fresh brown or white sliced bread

I Just love the sensation, the salivating

As I reach into the bread box for the fresh bread

Placing two slices on the breadboard

Spreading the soft butter on them

Gently adding the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and cucumber

With a drizzle of finely chopped fresh garden scallions

Evenly spread across the top

Shaking a little salt for seasoning and flavour

Liberally spooning and spreading mayo

And placing my covering slice on top

Sprinkling some chopped parsley around for added colour

My sandwich making mission is now complete

And so, I place this attractive creation on my plate

Holding knife overhead and gently slice it in quarters

For easier handling and consuming my tantalising treat

I place it on the table to view my creation

I am happy that it is now ready to eat

Next, I pour a mug of tea and place it alongside my treat

Get my napkin, pour some milk into tea to cool the warm brew down

And then I sit down at table to enjoy my feast

Oh, it so yummy and succulent

As I sink my teeth into bread, tomatoe and cheese

The cucumber,scallions and mayo give it a mighty lift

Mayo softly squelching out the sides

Gently plopping on the plate

Napkin in in place to wipe around my mouth

And avoid any nasty spillage on clothes

As I ravenously devour my home-made sandwich special.

Washed down with real Barry’s brewed teapot drink.

I am satisfied, stuffed, happy, and contented

My appetite is sated

I am ready and energised for the rest of the day.

A Photo Shoot

This was the scene on William Street on Wednesday morning, July 10 2024.

An eagle eyed friend who was passing alerted me to the scoop.

The umbrellas were necessary to block out the sun which had been in hiding all summer but chose that morning to appear and ruin the winter fun.

If you enlarge this one, you’ll see that there is a man on a ladder at the right of the picture with a machine snowing fake snow on to the subjects. You will notice the “snow’ is about 3 inches deep at the pub door.

These two are the main players in this scene.

I made enquiries on your behalf. It was a Christmas photo shoot for a high end German fashion brand or so the man wearing some kind of recording equipment told me.

She is Painting us

This is the charming Jean Cauthen who is a regular visitor to Listowel. Jean is a plein air artist. Look out for her, painting scenes around town.

A Fact

Three of Fidel Castro’s sons, Alexis, Alexander and Alejandro were named after Alexander, The Great.


After the Frost

Market Street in January 2024

A Rescue Dog

Cork Cogan’s rescue dog, Reggie, out for a frosty walk in Ballincollig last week.


Young people will have no idea what these are. Mending threads were to be found in every house once upon a time. These were for mending stockings.

Mending stockings!

Deserted Playground in January

From the Archives

Kerry Sentinel Wednesday, 19 June, 1895

BALLYBUNION. Important AUCTION of Licensed/House Property. Situated at BALLYBUNION, TO BE SOLD AT THE Listowel Arms, Hotel, On TUESDAY, 25th JUNE, INST., At the hour of ONE O’Clock.

MES. ELLEN KENNELLY, Market Street, Listowel, has instructed Subscribers to put up and Sell by Public Auction us above, her Right, Title and Interest in the TWO LICENSED HOUSES, situate in the Main Street, Ballybunion, in as large and ample a manner as same is held by Lease from and under George Hewson, Esq., for a term of 999 years from the 29th of September, 1883, at the small Yearly Ground Rent of £6 15s. The frontage to the public street is 54feet, keeping the same width from front to rere for 86 feet.


The above valuable property consists of Two Large, Roomy, Licensed Houses, situate in the main street of the Town, both let to most respectable tenants, who keep the property in first-class repair and condition, and pay their rents satisfactorily. The are tenancies are yearly. Mr. Shortis  Annual Rent (payable half-yearly), .£26- 0 -0. Mr. Scanlon’s Annual Rent (pay 1st every month), … £20- 0 -0

The business situation of the premises cannot be excelled. The Tenants have most attractive houses, do a thriving business, and entertain lodgers during the Summer months, having already made good business connections, and have large interest in their holdings.

Ballybunion, as a seaside resort, is progressing rapidly. During the season the principle complaint is scarcity of Lodges, and every other year suitable buildings are rising to meet the requirements of the many who resort this well-known and appreciated health resort. The Lartigue Railway System has done wonders for its progress, in connection as it is, with the Limerick and Kerry Line at Listowel in 40 minutes.

The Houses and Premises will be put up for Auction singly.  in the first instance, each subject to half existing ground rent, £3 -7s. 6d., the vendor reserving the right to sell both in ONE LOT, should the biddings for the entire exceed those offered for the Two Lots, separately. For further particulars and conditions of sale apply to MRS. ELLEN KENNELLY, Market Street, Listowel; MESSRS. JONAS BLACKALL & SONS, Solicitors, 93, George St., Limerick; or to McELLIGOTT & SONS, Auctioneers, Listowel.

A Fact

The founders of the Mattel toy company named two dolls after their children…Barbie and Ken.



Flags flying high in Listowel Town Square in July 2023


Family gathering

It was lovely to have all the family together to celebrate Aoife’s birthday. She is two. She is like the queen, celebrating 2 birthdays, one with her Cork and Kerry family and one with her Kildare clan.


Music Icons at Mike the Pies

Images by Martin Chute



This is Reggie, the newest family pet in my Cork family. He absolutely loves people and the closer he is to them the better.


A Kildare Memory with a Listowel Connection

This is a photo of members of The Turf Development Bord Players in costume for a performance of The Colleen Bawn. The photo was taken in August 1946 when the group was now called the Bord na Mona Players. The photo was given to the Bord na Mona archivist by Michael Hennessey from Listowel who is in the photo. I don’t know which man he is.


A Couple of Limericks


Artists who shared more than a name

The hospital chapel, Listowel


Michael O’Connor and Michael O’Connor

Two departed Listowel artists, Michael O’Connor and Michael O’Connor were not related but had much in common.

Michael O’Connor, formerly of 24 The Square was a quiet unassuming man. He was passionate and painstaking about his chosen hobby which was Celtic Illumination. He is regarded as one of the best exponents of this art and his work is soon to be on display in his childhood home, now Kerry Writers Museum.

O’Connor passed away in 1969.

An example of Michael O’Connor’s work

The other Michael O’Connor is also recognised as one of the best exponents of his chosen art form.

Like his namesake he realised the importance of studying the work of great artists who excelled in your genre.

Michael of William Street collected thousands of posters designed by international artists, the best practitioners of graphic art and design.

Like Michael of The Square he didn’t seek the limelight and it is through others appreciation of his work that we have come to know him.

He designed posters for a Fleadh Cheoil and for Listowel Writers’ Week in his native Listowel.

Michael passed away in 2010

Example of the work of Michael O’Connor

A collection of Michael’s posters, both his own work and some of his collection of international graphic art is held in The Limerick City Art Gallery.


Eighty Pubs!!!!!!

Dave O’Sullivan found this interesting snippet about a troubled time in Listowel.

We know that tensions were heightened around this time so I’m presuming the IRA closed the pubs to prevent trouble.


A Rescue

My Cork family are all dog lovers .

Here they are at Christmastime in The Regional Park in Ballincollig with Molly and Reggie.

The beautiful gentle Reggie had a bad start in life. He was found abandoned and homeless, mangy and undernourished by some kind soul who brought him to the Rescue Centre.

When my family came to choose their new companion animal, Reggie chose them.

He is now a rather unlikely lapdog.

He more than appreciates his rescuers and repays all their kindness to him in unstinted affection.



This is the lovely new Christmas light garland for 2022. It celebrates Listowel’s literary heritage.

Listowel Writers’ Week opens a new chapter in Listowel’s literary history in 2023 as the festival welcomes its new curator.

Stephen Connelly comes with a hugely impressive cv. I wish him all the best in his new role and I look forward to seeing what he has in store for us in June.


New Kid on the Block

My Cork family has a new dog. You may remember that their beloved Helios passed away a while back. They felt it was time to take another dog to their hearts. Reggie is a sweet tempered lurcher. Molly has welcomed him to the extended family.

Reggie had a rough start in life and was homeless for a while before being rescued. Housetraining and lead training are in hand.


Times Past

Mary Nolan sent us this photo of the cast of Presentation Secondary School’s 1979 operetta, Lilac Time


Christmas Jumper Day

Our local Vincent’s shop has a great selection of toys, clothes and bric a brac at rock bottom prices. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet this Christmas, drop in on Thursday or Friday and you could have your family decked out and all your presents sorted for next to nothing.

And this shop has the nicest shop volunteers as well.



Searching for Photos of a Stokes ancestor

Gus Stokes has been in touch. He found the below story on Listowel Connection from 2012.

Back Row L.toR.Tom Costello, Danny Lane, Bill J. Kirby, Sean Stokes, John MacNamara (agri instructor), Chris Goulding, Patsy O’Sullivan, William Stack, Tim Buckley, John Collins, Toddy O’Sullivan
Middle: Paddy Finucane(cut out of photo),_________ James Murray, John Broderick, Paddy Carroll, John O’Keeffe, Dan Molyneaux, Tim MacMahon,Paddy Maher, John Joe Galvin,Tom O’Sullivan, Vincent Brennan,Jerh Galvin, Liam McElligott, Dick Stokes, Maurice Stack
Front: Paddy Drummond, Dan J. Moloney,———–,————, Canon P. O’Sullivan, Jerry Moyles (C.A.O. Kerry) Bob Fitzgerald, ———–, Tom Sheehan
This is a photograph of Vincent’s photograph. He has all the names except 3 and 2 of them are not local and may have been instructors on the course. The photo has both students and teachers in it and was taken in the old VEC school on Church St.

Here is Gus’ email;

Looking for Jack Stokes Dirrha photos and wondering if he could be found in this photo

I am his grandson but sadly I was 10 years too late to find my birth mother or any living relatives with photos of my family and I would be over joyed to see any photos of my mother who was born c1935 and went to Presentation Convent but I was unable to get any joy when I visited the school but I found my mother has a daughter who is delightful but only had  Collection photo that came as quite a shock !

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I will continue to search your wonderful website and maybe you were at the Library lecture on local fables?

I hope to get back to Listowel sometime in the next few months 

Best wishes for the Holidays 

Gus Stokes


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